Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the plot, so far! Don't sue…

A Lost Love

Ch.1

It was the beginning of their 7th year at Hogwartz, and Hermione, Ron, and Harry were enduring the excruciatingly long Sorting Ceremony.

"I wish that they'd hurry it up a bit. I'm starving." Ron muttered to Harry and Hermione.

"Me, too." agreed Harry.

"Really, is that all you two ever think about?" joked Hermione.

"No, just most of the time." kidded Ron.

"Oh, really? And what, may I ask, do you do the rest of the time? Other than sleep, that is. You certainly don't use your time to study." Hermione struggled to keep a straight face.

"Well, Ron here checks out all of the girls." supplied Harry.

"So?" Ron retorted, "You do too." They all started laughing.

Hermione noticed, as Professor Dumbledore stood to make his announcements, that yet again, there was no one in the Defense Against the Dark Arts chair.

The year before, no one had wanted the job, so Professor Dumbledore had taught it. He stood now to make his announcements.

"I would like to advise everyone NOT to go into the Forbidden Forest. Mr. Filch has asked me to remind everyone that magic in the halls is prohibited. (He paused and looked at the 'Dream Team') And last, but most definitely not least, we have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.", he broke off for a moment. Hermione noticed that the scowl on Snape's face deepened and Dumbledore looked over and winked at Ron, Harry, and herself. He smiled and continued, "I would like for you all to meet your new professor, Professor Black."

Hermione's eyes got big and she could feel all of the color drain from her face as her stomach and heart did flip-flops. It looked as though Harry and Ron were going to faint.

*Hermione's Thoughts*

Their 6th year had been horrible. They had lost Sirius in a battle with Death Eaters only months before they had started their 6th year at Hogwartz.

Harry had lost  the closest thing that he'd ever had to a father. Ron had lost his 'uncle' and a good friend. And Hermione, though Harry and Ron didn't know, had lost the love of her life.

She never had a chance to tell Sirius how she felt. And she knew that she couldn't talk to Ron and Harry about her loss. They both loved Sirius, but not with the same depth and intensity that she did. They wouldn't  have understood.

*End Hermione's Thoughts*

When the doors to the Great Hall opened, Hermione snapped out of her thoughts and back to the current situation. The Hall was so quiet that you could've heard a pin drop. Then, there he was. Standing in the doorway, smiling and alive as ever, was Sirius Black.

Harry and Hermione both shed tears of happiness as they clapped so hard that their hands went numb. Ron fainted and fell out of his seat. And as the shock  slowly subsided, the applause steadily grew to a thunderous level.

A smile spread across Sirius' face as he walked towards the head table. He stopped along the way, at the Gryffindor table, in front of Harry and Hermione. He noted that Harry looked like he'd just seen a ghost for the first time but was obviously happy to see him. And though he could tell that Hermione was glad to see him as well, her expression was a little harder to discern.

Sirius laughed, "Are you two alright? You both look a fright."

"S-Sirius?" croaked Harry. Sirius nodded.

"Oh. My. God." said Hermione, slowly, "Oh, my God!" They both smiled and jumped up to embrace him.

Harry beat Hermione there. Harry squeezed him so hard that he thought that he was going to explode. "Harry. I've missed you too, but I still need to breath.", choked Sirius through his tearful laughter.

"Oh. Right. Sorry, Sirius.", said Harry sheepishly as he backed off.

Sirius then turned to Hermione, "What 'Mione? No hug?"

She smiled and embraced him tightly. Being this close to him re-ignited every flame in her soul that burned for him. She could've sworn that she felt him shiver at her touch, but it was probably just her imagination. She broke down into happy tears again, "Sirius?"

"Yeah, 'Mione?"

"Not that I'm not ecstatic that you're back, but how? You fell through the veil."

Sirius pulled back and looked at his godson and his best friend and said, "All in due time."

He winked and then turned to go to the head table, he started to take a step but stopped and looked down. Sirius chuckled slightly, then stepped over a still unconscious Ron. Harry and Hermione decided to wait for a bit before they woke Ron. When they turned back to their plates, they realized that the feast had already begun.

All through dinner, Hermione kept stealing glances at Sirius. She noticed that Ron and Harry did too, (Ron had awakened about 15 minutes after he had fainted.) She couldn't believe it.

"He's back.", she thought, "Sirius. Sirius Black is alive."

Her heart felt lighter than it had in over a year and for once since she'd found out he'd died, she had a dreamless sleep. A peaceful sleep that didn't include nightmares replaying his death, or nightmares haunting her of what they could've had. When she awoke the next morning, Hermione felt better and more rested than she had in a long time.

Hermione showered and dressed quickly. She combed her hair which now fell in shiny, straight locks down to the middle of her back. She then masterfully applied her make-up and ran to meet Harry and Ron in the common room.

When she got there, Harry and Ron had on smiles that lit up their entire face. They both turned when they heard her coming.

"Wow. You look great, Hermione." said Ron in awe.

"Thanks." she replied, obviously flattered, "What are you two so happy about?"

"What? Other than the obvious?" asked Harry, Hermione grinned widely.

"Do you mean to tell me that for once, our Little 'Mione, has neglected to look at her schedule?" kidded Ron. Hermione, still grinning, nodded shyly. "Well, why don't you look?"

Hermione took out her own schedule and looked at it. Her face lit up just like her two best friends'. The three of them rushed down to breakfast, all still smiling broadly, and still all trying to get over their initial shock.

*Please r/r. This is my first Hermione/Sirius and I hope that you all like it. Thanks for reading.*